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Thursday, August 16, 2007

DPP Solutions: Color Calibration

If you're using a professional-caliber LCD monitor, professional-caliber color calibration is a requirement

Features include multiple monitor calibration and matching, with custom targeting and curves manipulation. Advanced technology allows you to take ambient light into consideration, so you can accurately balance your monitor under unique studio lighting conditions as well—no matter how unusual they may be.

You'll discover a great assortment of sophisticated, photographer-friendly software features, too. For example, the Spyder2PRO offers multiple gamma and color-temperature options and an exclusive automated black-and-white luminance-adjustment feature that delivers exceptionally consistent calibration results. The Spyder2PRO kit also includes a software-based profiling tool that allows you to create custom printer profiles without using a third-party scanner. Estimated Street Price: $249. Visit www.colorvision.com for more details.


GretagMacbeth/X-Rite offers several bundled solutions at a wide range of prices. At the core is the Eye-One Display 2 colorimeter, a time-proven sensor that delivers a high degree of accuracy (within about 250 degrees Kelvin, plus or minus). The greatest strength of the GretagMacbeth/X-Rite system is the potent software package. It provides a slick interface and superb simplicity in the Easy Mode—you can get accurate results with just a few mouse clicks—but the Advanced Mode is where the calibration system really shines.

User-definable luminance settings help you achieve improved color management on multiple monitors, and advanced gray-balance optimization delivers better gray renditions. Enhanced features provide ample control over ambient-light influences. Before-and-after images are displayed so you can easily compare the results of your calibration efforts. If you own a monitor that's DDC/CI (Display Data Channel/Command Interface)-compliant, you can enjoy one-push calibration, too. Check GretagMacbeth/X-Rite's Website for a complete listing of compatible monitors. The software even reminds you if you haven't performed a tune-up recently. The Eye-One Display 2 colorimeter with Match 3.6 software and ambient light measurement head is available for $249. Visit www.xritephoto.com for more information and a directory of resellers.

Pantone hueyPRO

One of the most trusted names in color standardization, Pantone offers one of the most popular color-calibration systems, the hueyPRO. Users can choose between an easy, automated color-correction process or tap into the robust help menus and learn a bit about color science along the way. User-defined white-point and gamma settings deliver precise control over the calibration and output matching. Features include a built-in ambient-light sensor that ensures consistency under various lighting conditions. Even after the calibration process, the hueyPRO monitors ambient light and makes adjustments to the screen brightness to preserve accurate viewing as the room lighting changes.

The hueyPRO is the smallest colorimeter on the market, as well as one of the least expensive (estimated street price is $129), but it delivers reliable results. According to Pantone, the hueyPRO is equipped with the same advanced optical color sensors as the Eye-One Display solutions, which makes it quite a bargain. Visit www.pantone.com for more information.


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